This is Part 5 of the Meet The Maker series!
To learn more and start at Part 1, please click here.
Links to all other parts of this series can be found at the bottom of this post.
DAY 25 | HOW IT’S MADE: Every card starts with brush lettering that I do by hand with a brush pen on paper—it’s not a font! But to keep my fingers from falling off and to be able to mass produce, I digitize and vectorize the lettering so that I can print it out. Here’s an example of what the process looks like at each stage:
1) This is an image of the original lettering I did. I took a photo of it, cleaned it up in Photoshop by removing the background and saved it as a PNG file.
2) This image shows what the lettering looks like after I open it in Illustrator and turn it into vector art. I use the Live Trace – Make and Expand function in Illustrator (swipe to see a photo where you can see all the vector points) to do this. I then go in and adjust all the points until the lettering is smooth. There are tools in the program to help with this like the Smooth Tool but I find that nothing gets it as good as going in manually to adjust. Yes, this part of the process can be tedious! But I’ll usually put music/a podcast on or catch up on The Voice or a TV show I can just listen to while I do this.
DAY 26 | SELF CARE: Going to Bounce Society’s trampoline workout classes has been my form of self care the past few years! I never thought I’d say that in a million years bc I worked out zero before going and after my very first class was over, I felt a mix of wanting to throw up and feeling like I was going to die—it is hardcore! But the more I went the more I realized how much better I felt, physically and mentally, after each class and I love going now! Every time I step up on a tramp is a chance to get better and stronger.
It can definitely be hard to find an activity that works for you and then find the time and motivation to go do it, but I think it’s something we need to make a priority because we have to take care of ourselves too!
I have also felt that staying active is important, especially since I’m no spring chicken anymore lol Instead of dreading getting older, I want to look forward to it and be the strongest I’ve ever been at 35, at 40, at 45, etc! What does your form of self care look like?
PS: Local friends, classes are in Costa Mesa if you’d like to join me
DAY 27 | ANYTHING GOES: I’m excited to share that a box of Atiliay’s card for a cause are headed to Boston to the More Than Words Bookstore!
MTW is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. I love what they are doing and am very happy to a part of their bookstore!
Their order provides 40 meals for The EEC and will help to find a micro-loans for a mom entrepreneur! Check them out at @mtwyouth and friends in the area, stop by!
PS: If you’re interested in having Atiliay cards in your shop or space, please email me and I’ll send you wholesale info!
DAY 28 | PACKAGING: I mentioned in the reducing waste post that I like to keep it simple when it comes to packaging. Cards are put into clear sleeves and sealed (I’m excited to be switching to a compostable version soon) and packed in a non-bendable mailer with an info/thank you postcard. I finish each package with washi tape around the mailing label and they are ready to be sent off!
DAY 29 | MOST DIFFICULT MAKE: And most difficult to photograph! One of the hardest parts was seeing the reflection of the letters and also freaking myself out with my own reflection a few times lol Honored to have been able to create this for a lovely bride and check mirror seating chart off my to do list—although this might’ve been my first and last time doing a project like this! Big props to the mirror sign makers out there!
DAY 30 | SUPPORT: I feel super lucky to have had years of support from my friends as well as finding an awesome community of letterers and makers here on IG who have become real life friends too! My journey would’ve been so much more difficult and lonely if I didn’t have them in my life! Here are some of these special people:
Top left: My very first workshop ever! Made possible by my friend Kristen, who I’ve known since 6th grade and who also helped me at one of my very first craft shows, and her sis-in-law Nikki! This was the push and encouragement I needed to start teaching and I am very grateful!
Top right: Me and Susan–we’ve taught together, did this pop up together, I’ve bounced so many ideas off of her, and she’s been such a good listener and given me great advice. She’s also subjected to tons of long rambling texts from me whether it’s about work or reality TV. I’m always thinking, where have you been all my life!?
Bottom left: Some of my favorite makers and all around awesome women I’m so glad to know: Andrea of Luna Reece Ceramics, Jenna of The Paper Wilderness, Jackie of 3x3Inspire, and Meredith of LB Love Organics.
Bottom right: Lauree of LG Collective was the first to host my public workshops! This was one of the first ones I taught together with Susan!
DAY 31 | PRODUCT IN THE WILD: Here are some of my favorite shots of Atiliay’s cards for a cause and lettering out in the wild—and that’s a wrap! Thank you for reading these Meet The Maker posts and I hope it helped you get to know Atiliay and myself a little better :)